If you are a person who has loved a dog, or a reader who loves an unforgettable character, you will find Stella Gale: A Rare Breed, to be difficult to put downNancy Kyle Kent is a hilarious writer, and she knows the world of Stella Gale. Stella’s outrageous intelligence is matched only by her outrageously comic wit, dirty mouth, overwhelming pride in her own ex-con, street smart, survivalist self, and her compassion, often in spite of herself.

Stella interrupts when “the writer of her story” gets anything wrong.  One part of the fun of this deliciously long book is the interplay between the hapless writer’s voice and Stella’s insistent, funny and deliberately rude corrections.

After “helping a lot of girls” and “helping a lot of important people have a good time” in her successful “escort” business, Stella thinks, “. . .why don’t I give up the people business?” What she loves more is dogs.  Big dogs.  Rare breeds. Realizing that “my previous business was dealin’ with the breedin’ end of humans . . .  now, I was gonna be dealin’ with the breedin’ end of dogs.” After research and kennel building, Stella declares that she is “about to be the H-bomb of the Bordeaux world . . .Fuck it, I’m going to the source. . . .I would go to France or damn Africa, if I had to, and . . . get me the best damn Dogue de Bordeauxs I could find and become the kiss-my-ass Bordeaux breeder of America.

It is Stella who drives the story through a plenitude of disasters and triumphs, among a diversity of human and canine personalities. Kent’s greatest achievement is in telling the lives of some very wounded people in a world where “Only the Animals is Innocent,” there is a vision that is generous, a spirit that is compassionate, and humor that is healing in a sometimes desperate world. Expect to be moved deeply, to laugh heartily, and to be very glad that this book is only the first of a trilogy of the adventures of Stella Gale.

Pat Schneider of Amherst Writers and Artists
Reprinted from Amazon